Hello. I'm Chris.
I'm a singer/songwriter living in Ypsilanti, MI. I'm a guitarist, vocalist, and producer. I'm most at home behind an acoustic guitar. But I also love my telecaster, making sounds through pedals, sequencing on drum machines and synthesizers, and manipulating audio with samplers. I love timeless, water tight, bare bones songs. I also love indulgent, dense, digitally imagined electronic music. On a personal non-music note, I'm a sucker for a two hour conversation over black coffee. I love a good binge-able novel, especially if it's written in the voice of an untrustworthy narrator.
I've toured the continental US, shared stages with some of my favorite artists, and enjoyed seeing my music reach a broader audience with every year of work I put into this path.
I'm now ready to bring my latest and best body of work into full realization. And I am humbly, gratefully, and excitedly asking you, my listeners, supporters, family, friends, and everything in between, to support me. To walk alongside me. To invest a little cash, with the promise of very cool album-related rewards in return. I've seen, created, and contributed to a bunch of campaigns like that, so I went to great efforts to make the rewards as cool and desirable as possible. Every reward is a glimpse into my world and personal tastes. Thus, in addition to advance copies of the album, you can get cool shirts, a custom coffee bean blend, and guitar-player accessories. How dope is that.
Kickstarter takes a leap of faith! This is an all-or-nothing campaign. If we don't hit our goal by February 1st, no money changes hands. The project gets shelved. Dramatic artist grief ensues. But honestly, that risk is the beautiful part! There is something big at stake. There is no success for this album without a community, a tribe, willing it into reality with their support, belief, and love. I believe we can, and should, take this leap together. Over the past couple years of traveling and performing, I've come to see that none of these songs truly belong to me. Can music exist without an audience? Well, technically yes. But I deeply believe that music can only live and breathe at full potential in a space that exists for the artist and listener, with both having equal importance. If this vibes with you, then read on, and let's make something beautiful together!
My songs are borne of a fascination with memory, lineage, origin, spiritual fantasy, and the invisible connections we build with friends and strangers as we navigate our uncertain timelines. That’s a lot of ideas to shove into an indie/folk album, let alone an album title. I’ve decided to commit these ideas to a physical place. Enter Floodplains.
The idea came about in one of those rare light-bulb moments during a solitary walk. My favorite walking trail is on the Huron River floodplain. I rarely come across this word because I don’t often associate Michigan woodlands with “floods” or “plains.” On further research, I learned that floodplains are known for having a shallow layer of nutrient-rich soil, which allows plant life to spring up quickly, and also die quickly. Trees tend to cast their roots horizontally instead of downwards, and many die entirely uprooted during storms.
Looking at the many felled trees with their gnarled root systems groping for the sky in vain, I quickly remembered the countless times I’ve heard the words “I feel like an uprooted tree,” whether from a friend, or from my own mouth.
In familiar lore and parables, people are often described as the fertile or infertile soil upon which the seed of a good word can fall. While walking through the floodplain, I began to imagine the fable flipped, with me as the seed, falling onto a bed of soil that was certainly rich on its surface, but dry and hostile a few inches below. How often is a person cultivated in what seems to be a fecund, abundant, safe environment, only to find herself grasping for nourishment that doesn't reside deep enough to sustain her where she was planted?
I named my record in honor of this image, and the many people who comb through memory and lineage trying to make sense of where they were first rooted. These songs walk the listener through a haze of memories, half-forgotten childhood corners, and restless fever dreams, inviting us to uproot bravely and plant again.
The songs are guitar-centric, written mostly in the dead of night on a fingerpicked acoustic. They are lyric-heavy, with a greater interest in word sounds, evocation, and association. There are deep drum rhythms. There are tight vocal harmonies. There are peculiar and off-putting sampler noises and avant-pop synth parts. I am eagerly leaning into every musical and sonic avenue I am passionate about, and I don't know what the hell is going to happen!
Every song for this album was demo'd early after its conception, often with unfinished or unrefined lyrics. My guitar lines would be broken, disjointed, and loaded with errors as I learned them and composed them at the same time. Each song was committed to the memory of an old creaky tape deck with no professional gear whatsoever, and then augmented in a digital ecosystem with drum machines, samplers, and synth patches.
Frankly, the demos sound crazy, but making them helped me truly fall in love with making music again. I shared them with bandmates and confidantes, and was immediately met with excitement and eagerness.
Flooplains is being produced and mixed by Nick Gunty, who is one half of the Chicago power-duo Frances Luke Accord. If you've seen me live since the release of my last album, you've likely heard the jaw-dropping musical force of FLA sharing a stage with me. Their fabulous debut Fluke was engineered and mixed by Nick, and I absolutely love the sonic footprint of what he does. He's a great engineer, an anointed musical arranger, and a truly lovely person to create art with. You'll love what he does to my sound.
This record will feature musical contributions from Ann Arbor staples Billy Harrington, Luke Jackson, Katie VanDusen, Christina Furtado, and more. Rumor has it that Olivia Millerschin will be contributing a guest vocal. There will be many more guests announced as we get rolling in the studio!
REAL TALK: we picked rad rewards and I want to give them to you. I feel like that crazy person who loves the holidays and went overboard getting stuff for their buddies.
Obviously a central reward will be early access to the album! But we designed a handful of other really cool rewards as my way of sharing my quirky interests and passions with you.
For instance, the coffee reward. My favorite coffee roastery, Hyperion, has agreed to collaborate with me to create a Floodplains coffee blend. They're even going to carry it in their shop, with download cards inside the bags of beans. How dope is that? Backers who choose the coffee set receive a bag of whole bean Hyperion coffee, and we will all be united over long distances by drinking it in the mornings! Also comes with a rad mug and some coasters.
We also have a guitarists reward! Levys Leather custom stamped pick pouch keychains (I've carried one of these at all times for literally 20 years), customized Chris DuPont guitar picks (same gauge I use), and a chord/riff/lyric booklet so you can learn the ins and outs of playing songs of Floodplains.
The T-Shirt. Don't you hate it when you wear a t-shirt with pithy words on it, but no one can read them because you have your jacket on? We have a solution for that. New CDP t-shirt has the line "I Keep My Jacket On" printed extra narrow so you can, in fact, keep your jacket on, and still show off your CDP swag.
We are trying to raise $16K. Holy cow. That type of money doesn't grow on trees. Where's it all going to go?
- Compensating producer Nick Gunty. Nick will be arranging, consulting, engineering, playing instruments, and mixing the album. This stuff takes forever, and Nick deserves every penny. As a general policy, I do not mix my own studio records, even though I am an audio engineer. Nick will bring a sonic magic that is outside my artistic tendency and skillset, and this will be a big part of the record's unique personality.
- Compensating players. Every musician who plays on a CDP record gets paid, and they get paid well.
- Mastering. Gotta have it big and loud. We ship the tracks out to Jim Demain, one of the most excellent, pedigreed, and prolific mastering engineers in the business.
- Pressing CDs.
- Creating the rewards: shirts, merch items, coffee blend, etc. We are going big with rewards, and creating them with great care, so our campaign goal reflects the costs of these items.
- Publicity. We work with Detroit-based publicists Green Light Go. We worked with them for Outlier, with fabulous results. We were featured in Relevant, Huffpost, American Songwriter, and many more publications we respect highly. Since then, thanks to you, my audience has grown, and I feel strongly that I need to capitalize on that. Rather than tossing my best work yet into the ether and hoping it gets noticed amid the constant barrage of entertainment and distractions, I want to invest in getting this music heard and spread onto bigger platforms. Green Light Go has treated me incredibly well, and is already highly invested in this upcoming record, so we fully intend to work with them again. Pub campaigns are the most expensive part of the process, and with good reason! Publicists have to put upwards of three months of work into an album release to help it obtain critical mass.
$20K - We will press heavyweight vinyl LP's. These will be made available at a discount to all backers if we hit this goal.
$22K - Bonus companion EP. THAT'S RIGHT. More music, delivered digitally to all backers well before it hits streaming platforms for public consumption.
$25K - We will produce and release a high quality, concept/story based music video. A video video video, like what they had on VH1 in the 90's, you know.
$28K - We will step up our publicity investment and do a premium-tier campaign.
Risks and challenges
Recording projects have a great deal of moving parts, and timelines can easily be shifted if someone gets sick, if someone in the chain of various engineers falls behind, if hired player schedules don't line up, etc. Furthermore, Chris and the crew have incredibly high standards for themselves, and will not cut corners on the capture of great performances.
That said, I've made some records, I've learned from accomplishments and setbacks alike, and I'm really confident that this one is going to be my best work to date. My studio is running on a brand spanking new Mac, with a Universal Audio interface, and whisper quiet HVAC. Nick Gunty is a truly excellent audio engineer and producer, and his work on the Frances Luke Accord albums has been nothing short of outstanding. We have Betsy King on design and branding, so the product is going to look and feel GREAT.
Should any timelines need to be adjusted, we will be prompt in communicating with our listeners and supporters.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)